Incremental improvements to the national aviation infrastructure have not resulted in sufficient increases in capacity and flexibility to meet emerging demand. Unfortunately, revolutionary changes capable of substantial and rapid increases in capacity have proven elusive. Moreover, significant changes have been difficult to implement, and the operational consequences of such change, difficult to predict due to the system s complexity. Some research suggests redistributing air traffic control functions through the system, but this work has largely been dismissed out of hand, accused of being impractical. However, the case for functionally-based reorganization of form can be made from a theoretical, systems perspective. This paper investigates Air Traffic Management functions and their intrinsic biases towards centralized/distributed operations, grounded in systems engineering and information technology theories. Application of these concepts to a small airport operations design is discussed. From this groundwork, a robust, scalable system transformation plan may be made in light of uncertain demand.